“One day, when Moses had grown up, he went out to his people and looked on their burdens, and he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his people. He looked this way and that, and seeing no one, he struck down the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. ”
We know from the book of Hebrews that when Moses came of age he made a conscious decision by faith to be identified with his own people (the Hebrews) rather than continue to enjoy the sinful pleasures of the palace as a son of Pharaoh (Hebrews 12:24-26). He made this decision while the Hebrews were in terrible bondage to their Egyptian overlords. I pray that I, by faith, would have the courage to make the same decision – to reject a life of comfort, ease, and pleasure in order to receive the scorn and persecution that comes to those who follow Christ. Lord, please give me this kind of faith!
At the same time, it seems that Moses had a clear desire to deliver his people from their oppression (and perhaps a sense that this was God’s desire for him). When he saw a Hebrew worker knocked down by an Egyptian overseer, he first looked to see that there were no witnesses present. He then struck and killed the overseer and buried his body in the sand. This is a classic example of trying to accomplish the Lord’s will using human wisdom and means.
The results are both disastrous and miraculous. It is a disaster as Moses’ act of murder is discovered by Pharaoh and he is forced to flee to Midian where he spends the next 40 years as a lowly shepherd. It is miraculous for exactly the same reason! God used this tragedy to:
- Remove Moses from Egypt (and to remove “Egypt” from Moses)
- Humble him by giving him a job considered disgusting by Egyptians; working as a shepherd.
- Teach him to be a faithful employee to his father-in-law, Jethro
- Teach him to be a faithful husband and father
- Show him the folly of acting (even from good motives) in his own strength, timing, and wisdom.
I realize that I have to be careful not to make the same mistake that Moses made. I’ve often run ahead of God – trying to accomplish His will in my own strength, my own wisdom, and my own timing. Invariably, the result is that things quickly go wrong and I find myself calling out to God for rescue. I’m gradually learning that I need to wait on Him – waiting for His strength, His wisdom, and His timing, all of which are perfect. I’m grateful to know that even when I foolishly run ahead of Him, He is able to “work all things together for good for those that love God and are called according to His purpose” (Rom 8:28). Praise God for His great mercy and love!